(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to bring to justice the attacker who stabbed six people at the Jerusalem gay pride parade on Thursday.
“Justice will be dealt to whoever was responsible for this act,” Netanyahu said. “In the State of Israel, an individual's freedom of choice is one of the country's most basic values.”
“It is up to us to make sure that every man and woman can live in safety at all times in every way that they choose to live. This is how we work and this is how we will continue to do things. I wish a speedy recovery to all those injured,” Netanyahu added.
Shortly after the parade began, a haredi man, later identified as Yishai Shlissel, began wildly stabbing victims along the parade route, seriously wounding two people. On Sunday, 16-year-old stabbing victim Shira Banki died of her wounds.
Shlissel was wrestled to the ground and arrested. Police confirmed that Shlissel was the same man who stabbed three people in a Jerusalem gay pride parade in 2005 and was just released weeks ago for that crime.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Shlissel had published a handwritten letter a week before the current parade, saying that “it is the obligation of every Jew to keep his soul from punishment and stop this giant desecration of God’s name next Thursday.”
Both of Israel’s chief rabbis condemned the attack. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau said “the Torah of Israel forbids any act of violence and harming a person, and all the more so a man who harms others and attempts to kill.”